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'H.M.S. Pinafore' Plays to Crickets Chirping

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ at Wolf Trap
Washington Post, June 6, 2011

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Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore, R. Evans, F. Lott, M. Schade, T. Allen, Welsh National Opera, C. Mackerras
It was a dry, cool evening perfect for a picnic and the fizzy, lighthearted score of “H.M.S. Pinafore,” performed by the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, a reputable company of specialists in this repertoire. The only element missing Friday night was a large audience at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center.

The experience was perfectly pleasant, if not much more. The light, easy tenor of Dan Greenwood suited the naive sailor and romantic lead, Ralph Rackstraw, even with some breaths taken mid-word and some high notes at the edge of control. Likewise, Laurelyn Watson Chase brought an airy soubrette voice and considerable comic charm to the role of Josephine. The other principals seemed chosen more for acting than singing ability, but the amplification system in the Filene Center makes judgment of vocal quality rather difficult. [Continue reading]
Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore
New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players
Filene Center, Wolf Trap

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